Confession.

Blogging is hard.

Here’s the thing:

I have deeper thoughts going through my head than menu plans and more compelling events happening in my day-to-day life than cooking (well, sometimes).  And I really, really want to tell you about them sometimes.  But I can’t.

I’m not a reserved person in general, and in face-to-face conversations I rarely hold back because I so desire meaningful conversations and authentic friendships.  At least once a week I leave a conversation thinking Well, that was probably more information than she wanted.

I think, though, that I tend to be very open about things after the fact.  Case in point:  I can effortlessly, enthusiastically tell people that I “used to” struggle with anxiety attacks or depression or that I partied too hard in college.  It’s easy to have those conversations because it’s not true now.  Yet I often read stories from women who are able to steal my heart in a few paragraphs, make me weep, and draw me helplessly into their stories of family, friendship, and faith.  Some of these stories deal with heavy, hard topics. There are heart-wrenching, raw accounts of  miscarriages, suicide attempts, babies born with disabilities, marital struggles….  and they’re not overly sentimental, they don’t manipulatively demand compassion, they don’t fish for compliments — they demand comradery through common ground and shared experience, against all odds.

In a way it would be easy to open up.  How hard could it be, after all, to type what’s really on my heart?  My written journal holds my most private thoughts and experiences; I could just edit them slightly to be internet-ready, type away and hit “Publish.”

So why do I hold back?

Well, for one thing, I think it can be very good to.  Because I do not keep this blog so that people will pay attention to me or think I’m so interesting, or for those people who will read as a source of gossip material. I don’t even want this blog to be about me me me, ultimately.  And so I don’t post things I know will be overly uncomfortable or controversial or attention-getting.

I don’t desire to make my life seem more glamorous than it is; if anything, that’s exactly what has me so conflicted.  Because kitchen tales and happy weekends whisked off to anniversary-land or family-land don’t tell the whole story.  They don’t mention that fight we had on our anniversary or that concerned conversation that had brother and sister nervous and sleepless.  Sure, the idea of hundreds or thousands of readers hanging on my every word is appealing in a way, but not that appealing (pressure!!).

I blog because I hope that some experience of mine will strike a connection with someone else. I’m not talking about making “internet friends.”  Real world friends will always be better.  I’m talking about passing on the joy and richness I feel when I share in someone’s human experience. I’m talking about exchanging glimpses into others’ humanity, even when it’s not presentable or polite or proper.  I’m talking about us making everyone a little richer by sharing stories that are a little truer.

It takes a thousand voices to tell a single story.
[a Native American saying]

And I utterly fail at that task because I’m afraid to be confessional in my writing.

So here are my requests:  1) Bear with me through posts about recipes and homemaking and projects.  There’s nothing wrong with them.  But I want them to fit in the context of my real life, lest I eventually accept the idea that I have a lesson to teach you.  Because friends, that’s not at all the case. I’m hoping you can teach me.   2) Go easy on me as I attempt to tell my real story, as I find my voice, and as I attempt to join the conversation so many excellent writers have started.

Here’s to being real, even when people are reading, which is, after all, the point of a blog.  [Deep breath.]

Love,

  • Rachel

    I love you and I can’t wait to experience and share more ‘hard truths’ together.

    :)

    Love,
    your jayjoe